Fishing & Hunting Report - May 25, 2015
WEEKLY OUTDOOR, FISHING AND HUNTING REPORTS, followed by calendar highlights:
May 25, 2015: Eagle River, Wisconsin
Musky opener is a success - -action good to excellent, with northern and panfish also putting on a good to excellent bite, and walleye and smallmouth bass good ; all in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.
Water temps at the surface are in the upper 50s in the Eagle River area – and with the now ever increasing water temps, fishing action has picked up accordingly.
MUSKY: Very good opener in the Eagle River area- - still one of the best, if not THE best musky fishery in Wisconsin. Fish 10 feet of water or less off of break edges as well as in and around weeds. Use a small bucktail, glide bait or twitch bait like a large Husky Jerk. Keep your retrieve moderate - -nothing real fast. All day action, with peaks coming in the evening. The bite is good to excellent.
NORTHERN: Fish 10 feet of water or less in the weeds. Use a Husky Jerk (minnow or walleye pattern), a white bass style spinner bait, or a northern sucker under a slip bobber. All day aggressive action with the bite good to excellent.
PANFISH: Crappies, bluegills and perch are off of break edges and weed edges in 10 feet of water or less. The perch are tight to bottom, with the crappies and gills suspending anywhere in the water column. Try the tops of weeds, for sure. Use a chunk of crawler, crappie minnow, or micro-plastic on a small jig or under a slip bobber. All day action and the bite is good to excellent.
WALLEYE: Walleye are tight to bottom off of break edges in 10 feet of water or less. Use a 1/16 ounce jig and a fathead minnow, or try a small Rapala, as they've been working nicely. All day action, with peaks in the evening. The bite is good.
SMALLMOUTH BASS: Fish hard bottom sand or gravel areas in six feet of water or less. There are still bass on their beds, but they're getting near to finishing their spawn. Use a #3 Mepps extra deep, the old tried and true three inch tube on a jig, or a jig and minnow. All day action, and the bite is good. Don't forget- - smallmouth bass in the Eagle River area are strictly catch-=and-release until the harvest season begins on June 20th.
Editor’s Note: Eagle River, Wisconsin, is the Snowmobile Capital of the World®, Hockey Capital of Wisconsin™, World’s Largest Chain of 28 Lakes (Eagle River Chain O’Lakes named one of the “7 Natural Wonders of Wisconsin” by Travel Wisconsin.com/Wisconsin Department of Tourism); voted “The Best Up-North Town” by readers of Wisconsin Trails Magazine.
(Report for the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce based on Creative Brilliance interviews with Eagle River guides “Muskie Matt” of Wild Eagle Lodge, Mat Hegy; and Eagle River hunting enthusiast, Dan Anderson).
Contact info for Eagle River:
* Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400; e-mail: email@example.com; web: www.eagleriver.org
* “Muskie Matt”, 715-891-5980; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
* Mat Hegy, 715-571-7544, e-mail: email@example.com
* George Langley, Eagle River Fishing Guides Association, 715-479-8804. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
* Dan Anderson, Eagle River hunting enthusiast, 715-479-8511. e-mail: email@example.com
(Dan is also a silent sports devotee and works with the Vilas County Silent Sports Association; www.vassa-trails.org).
***Calendar highlights for Eagle River, Wisconsin
- - Summer is ringing its welcoming bell in Eagle River. Forget the hassles of daily life, and surround yourself with the unique joys of Wisconsin's northwoods in the center of it all: Eagle River. The sounds and sights of a new season. Trees and flowers galore. Forests and meadows. The shimmering lakes and streams. Fabulous fishing in the Eagle River area's 1,300 lakes. Birding. Picnicking. Hiking. Biking. Jogging. Kayaking. Swimming and boating. Just plain old relaxation in the truest sense of that word. All manner of flora and fauna to see and enjoy. And the fragrance that only the pristine breath of Mother Nature can bring. Eagle River has accommodations, special events, activities, services and entertainment to fit every budget and taste. Couple all of this with the pristine Northwoods scenic beauty that nature provides Eagle River in such abundance, and it's something you, your family, loved ones and friends won't want to miss. Contact us at anytime for information. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400;e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; web: www.eagleriver.org
- - Eagle River Golf Course is open in Eagle River (weather permitting). The beautiful Eagle River Golf Course is open from 10:00 am-6 pm. daily. Take advantage of the gorgeous, warm Northwoods weather, the scenic beauty, and get your swing in the groove. Many continuing money saving fun specials throughout the season, tournaments, youth golf season and tournament, new equipment demos, warm, expert, welcoming staff. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400; e-mail: email@example.com; web: www.eagleriver.org
- -Fishing season is open in Eagle River. For over 150 years anglers have flocked to Eagle River to enjoy the fun, relaxation and excitement of Eagle River's legendary fishing - -from walleye to musky - -and everything in between. Eagle River provides the finest fishing experience anyone could ever want. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400;e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; web: www.eagleriver.org
- -Fri.-Sun., June 5-7, 2015: 22nd Annual Eagle River Fishing Has No Boundaries event. Northwoods fishing event for the physically and mentally challenged. Each year, hundreds of volunteers and community organizations host the physically and mentally challenged for a weekend of fishing, exploration, and camaraderie in Eagle River's Northwoods area. A rewarding, fun, weekend for all participants and volunteers. Volunteers and donations are greatly appreciated. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400;e-mail: email@example.com; web: www.eagleriver.org
- -Sun., June 14, 2015.: 22nd Annual Walter E. Olson Memorial Library Golf Classic, at the Eagle River golf course. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400;e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; web: www.eagleriver.org
- -Fri.-Sun., June 12-14, 2015: 35th Annual Spring Classic of Champions Musky Tournament. Wonderful musky tournament. Competition. Events. Great prizes. Lots of fun for all, who enjoy Eagle River's legendary musky fishing. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400;e-mail: email@example.com; web: www.eagleriver.org
- - Sat., June 13, 2015: Eagle River's Great Northern Beer Festival. Held on the grounds of the Hi-Pines campground. Microbrews and craft beers from 32 breweries along with samples from the Northwood's Lush Inc. Home Brewers club will be featured. Attendees will receive a souvenir tasting glass and can learn about the brewing process from some of the Midwest's most celebrated brewers. Great fun for all! Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400;e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; web: www.eagleriver.org
- -Sat.-Sun., June 13-14, 2015: 11th Annual Callie Rohr Memorial Canoe & Kayak Race. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400;e-mail: email@example.com; web: www.eagleriver.org
- -Sun.-Sat., June 14-20, 2015: Eagle River Fly-In and Radar Run at the Eagle River Union Airport. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400;e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; web: www.eagleriver.org
- -Sat.-Sun., June 27-28, 2015: Professional Musky Tournament Trail. The PMTT event is one of the most high profile, exciting, educational and entertaining musky tournaments in the country. Geared to professionals as well as many excellent amateur musky anglers who have the desire and ability to become pros or just enjoy the competition and a great time. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400;e-mail: email@example.com; web: www.eagleriver.org
- -Sat. July 4, 2015: 4th of July Parade & Fireworks. Parade downtown Eagle River. Fireworks at dusk at Hi-Pines Campground. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400;e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; web: www.eagleriver.org
- -Thurs. July 9, 2015: 35th Annual Guides/Kids Day. Vilas County Fairgrounds. Kids get to fish with Eagle River licensed guides. Great fun and thrills for the kids and guides alike! Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400;e-mail: email@example.com; web: www.eagleriver.org
- -If you're in the Eagle River area, and decide to go fishing, and maybe left your equipment at home – not to worry. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has a free, equipment loan program that may be able to help. For information and regulations of this program in the Eagle River area you can call Kimberly Krawczyk at 715-542-2075. Just another way to enjoy all that the Eagle River area has to offer. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; web: www.eagleriver.org
- - Throughout the year Eagle River offers great opportunities for "silent sports" devotees. Whatever the season, there are myriad activities, events, and just plain fun and relaxation for those who love biking, hiking, kayaking, running, jogging X-C skiing and snowshoeing. The facilities and trails are some of the best anywhere, with services and competitions to fit every level of expertise and taste. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400;e-mail: email@example.com; web: www.eagleriver.org
- -Trees for Tomorrow has a multitude of family, youth, public and nature programs right on its campus in Eagle River. This wondrous venue allows everyone to explore the joys of nature at little or no cost. Contact Trees for Tomorrow for information and program schedule. Phone: 715-479-6456. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400; e-mail: email@example.com; web: www.eagleriver.org
***(Report on Central Wisconsin Lakes AND the Wisconsin River in Wisconsin’s Marathon and Lincoln Counties near Mosinee and Wausau), -- as of May 25, 2015.
Musky season opens in the northern zone, with walleye, crappies and bass also hitting. Wild turkey hunters had good success, but ticks attacked hunters mercilessly; all in and amidst the lakes and the Wisconsin River in Wisconsin’s Marathon and Lincoln Counties (near Mosinee and Wausau).
The big news has got to be the northern Wisconsin musky opener which began Saturday, May 23rd.
With great anticipation thousands of anxious anglers have been waiting for the musky season to begin. The waters of central and northern Wisconsin are going to be seething with men and women alike, pounding away with their favorite lures just looking for that first fish of the year.
Here are a few tips for getting early season muskies: When fishing lakes early in the year I usually start small and shallow looking for potential musky haunts. Start by looking for any emergent new green weeds and bays with warmer water as these will be likely locations. In these areas I like to run small bucktails, twitch baits, or jerk baits and in a few specific spots I will even throw a top water selection. Work them slowly and methodically in and out of any weeds, and along and through any visible structure. You want to maximize your fishing time in the most noticeably potential strike zone.
Dams on river sections always hold fish as do any current breaks, eddies and likely backwater locations. When fishing the river sections I usually throw bucktails and twitch baits but I won’t hesitate to bring out the rubber and run Bulldawgs in certain areas. When working areas like this run your lures slowly and methodically making sure that you cover the entire area very thoroughly. In locations like this muskies can and will move about sporadically and they won’t necessarily be in a specific location or on a piece of structure or location.
In addition to the musky opener the walleye bite has been pretty good on area lakes as well as the action for crappies and bass. We have been having very good success by working low flow areas on the river by targeting eddies and current breaks in 8 to 12 feet of water. Jig and minnow combinations seem to be working the best but we are starting catch some nice fish on plastics and crankbaits as the water temperatures continue to warm up.
Turkey hunters had good success this past week by putting down some nice toms, but the issue wasn't getting a bird, it was avoiding the TICKS. Millions and millions of wood ticks are out and they are in full force. These tiny little insects will ruin your day. Make sure you take extra precautions when getting dressed to cover legs, ankles and arms by tucking in socks and shirt sleeves. In addition make sure that you wear a good repellant to ward off any unwanted visitors. I know several people that have become ill from Lyme disease and it is no fun at all. We want you to have fun out there, but we want you to be safe, too.
(Central Wisconsin lakes report based on interviews with licensed guide and trapper Phil Schweik and licensed guide Glenn Moberg, of Hooksetters Fishing & Hunting Guide Service, Mosinee. Wisconsin).
For more information about fishing and hunting in the Central Wisconsin area:
* Phil Schweik, Hooksetters Fishing & Hunting Guide Services: phone: 715-693-5843; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; web: www.hooksetters.biz
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Outdoor Report - May 21, 2015
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Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Outdoor Report summary for May 21, 2015
Complete DNR Outdoor Report (Reports from conservation wardens, wildlife and fisheries staff and property managers from around the state)
After chilly week, with return of warm weather prospects look excellent for northern zone musky season opener
After a chilly week with frost warnings and even the return of dusting of snow to the far north, a nice warmup is in the forecast for the upcoming holiday weekend. Most state park properties are reporting that reservable campsites are pretty full for the weekend. A limited number of non-reservable sites are available, but they also usually fill quickly. People looking for last minute campsites can check campsite availability for non-reservable sites in the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest. All campers heading out this weekend are reminded to buy firewood where they burn it and do not bring wood from farther than 10 miles from your destination to avoid spreading emerald ash borer and other pests.
Rain in the last week has raised water levels on some rivers, especially in the northwestern part of the state, where the falls at Amnicon and Pattison state parks are currently very impressive, but many rivers continue to be low for early spring, including the Flambeau and lower Wisconsin rivers.
Green up of vegetation and regular rains have kept fire danger low, likely bringing an end to the spring wildfire season, with 679 wildfires burning 2,200 acres and destroying 33 structures this spring.
The cold spell led to a drop in water temperatures back down into the 50s on many lakes in the Northwoods, resulting in rather inconsistent fishing success and a slowdown in spawning activity. Walleye anglers did report some fair catches of 14 to 18-inch fish, with the best action occurring near dark as the wind would subside a bit. Panfish provided the most consistent fishing and some nice catches of crappie, bluegill and perch have been made. Northern pike success continued to be good, with most fish being found in and around the newly forming weed beds.
This musky season opens in the Northern zone and Green Bay this weekend and fishing prospects look excellent. Most musky have completed their spring spawning ritual and should be active with the warming temperatures. Small bucktails and jerk baits should provide some good action and look for the fish to be holding on the deep edges of newly forming weed beds.
Green Bay was very active last weekend with the Sturgeon Bay Open Bass Tournament. The water temperature average 53 degrees, the smallmouth bass action was good Little Sturgeon Bay, with several boats reported catching 20-plusfish, but action was slower in other areas.
Fog enshrouded the Two Rivers, Manitowoc and Sheboygan shores last weekend dampening fishing. Both Kewaunee and Algoma also saw light angler pressure with only slight success reported for brown trout. Trollers out of Port Washington working the nearshore waters around the harbor reported good numbers of browns and a few rainbows, chinooks, and lake trout. Milwaukee anglers on McKinley Pier reported nice size brown trout and a few browns have also been caught along the shoreline behind the Summerfest grounds. Trollers off Milwaukee have begun targeting coho, and trollers out of Racine and Kenosha continue to report success with coho.
Fifth period turkey hunter success was mixed, with some reporting toms were largely unresponsive to calling and other reporting with hens nesting, toms were still actively displaying in fields and responding to calls.
Many more fawns are being reported this week. Does leave newborn fawns to lie motionless in vegetation to conceal them from predators. The mother will return to feed it. So if you see a fawn this holiday weekend, it is not abandoned. Leave it where it is and stay away from the area.
Common butterflies being seen on warm days are white sulfurs, satyrs and a few spring azures. The endangered Karner blue butterfly is expected to emerge with the next warm spell.
Sandhill crane young, called colts, are now being seen, along with more loon chicks. Participants in this week's Great Wisconsin Birdathon at Crex Meadows State Wildlife Area identified 119 bird species including 15 warbler species, Harris and white-crowned sparrows, merlin and peregrine falcons, wood thrushes, ruddy turnstone and semipalmated plovers. Yellow-headed, least bittern and red-necked grebes were found nesting.
In the south early woodland flowers are now done and have been replaced by shooting stars, wild geranium, jack in the pulpit, rue anemone, and false solomon's-seal among others. Dry prairies are in bloom now with wood betony, cream gentians, prairie smoke, golden Alexander and others.
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